Saturday, December 24, 2011

shepherds and angels

it hit me hard this morning.

christmas, that is.

or the real reason behind it. the weight of what it means.

i thought i'd be better this year at not buying into the hype and in many ways i was. i didn't over-spend. i sold things i wasn't using in order to buy gifts. i tried to be a good steward of what i had. but i did stay busy.

busy busy busy.

it's my vice. there's always more i can do. there's always more i should do... or so the voices say.

but it hit me hard this morning as i watched this video that i put together for our christmas eve service. i can't really take the credit for it. one of my pastors wrote it. i just made it look nice and added music really. needless to say it still took up countless hours of my week to work on. i tried to upload it so i could embed it here but that's not working out so well. bummer.

the basic gist of it is this:
when jesus was born the angels came from heaven to proclaim the news of his birth. but who did they come to tell? did they come to the religious leaders? to the rich? no. they came to shepherds. low of the low. unnoticed, unimportant to the rest of the world shepherds. the first people to hear of our saviors birth lived in fields... were probably dirty... were probably poor. my lord, THAT is the gospel right there! God chose to reveal himself first to the most unlikely group of people. that's what i love about God. he flips things around to force us to really think... to see... to listen and understand.

it's not about being put together. it's not about having the nicest gifts to give. and it certainly isn't about getting the greatest new thing. it's about humility. about allowing yourself to be broken. recognizing that you are broken. that you NEED Him. that you are nothing without Him. that if He hadn't sent His son as a tiny, little baby you would be completely lost and hopeless.

oh but joy of all joys, He did send His son as a precious little newborn... completely dependent upon the world in which He created... it's almost inconceivable really. the way in which God works leaves me completely undone.

so i'm reflecting on that today. rejoicing because no matter how much i try to put myself together i'm still in desperate need of saving, of forgiveness, of His bountiful love. and it's there just waiting for me to embrace it. it's there for you, too.

merry christmas friends,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

single digits baby

sunday night was monumental for me. i left the gym after running 3.3 miles, headed to my local kohls, confidently grabbed a pair of size 8 levi's jeans and dashed into the dressing room quickly before someone caught a whiff of me. as i slipped on those single-digit pants i held my breath... i put one leg in... then the second leg in... pulled them up... secured the button... zipped the fly and... VICTORY! they fit! even after i released that breath.

so i did what any normal social-networking-crazed-woman would do- i snapped a photo with my iPhone and quickly took to twitter to share my joy!

within seconds the replies to my tweet came flying in and that's when i lost it. yes, i had a breakdown in the dressing room at kohls. i apologize to the other customers who had to hear my muffled sobs. i promise they were happy tears.

i sat down out of shock.

and then i stood up just to check myself out again.

just 11 short months ago i could barely fit in my size 16 jeans. i never thought single digit pants would be on my radar. i never thought i would run but yet i completed three 5k's in just two months and now i'm starting to train for a 10k. i never thought that i would be able to inspire people through my journey to health but somehow i find people telling me that i have and i am humbled.

and every single time i've taken to this blog or to facebook or instagram or twitter to share an accomplishment or milestone i am met by an overwhelming show of support. the tears that i shed in that dressing room weren't just for how far i've come but it was also for those of you that have come with me. that have cheered for me. that have congratulated me. that have motivated me to get off my butt and go run when i didn't feel like it. you can't place a value on that. to know that there are people out there rooting for your success... people you have never and maybe never will actually "meet?" it's incredible and so much of what i have been able to accomplish would not have been possible without YOU!

this year has been hard in so many ways but i know that i'm coming out of it a stronger, more confident, more beautiful woman. there were so many days where i felt alone and abandoned and after reflecting today i am reminded of how untrue that is.

i can and will set out to finish what i started and i hope you'll stick around to see it.

much love today,

Friday, December 9, 2011


today marks 4 years since what many of us, who experienced that day, refer to as "the shooting." in some ways it feels like another life ago but at the same time like it was just yesterday. i guess that's pretty common when you walk through a tragedy such as that. my heart always aches a bit more on this day, especially when i think about the families who are going through another holiday season without tiffany or phil. grief and loss are such difficult processes to walk through and i pray that God continues to bring peace and comfort to their families hearts.

i do rejoice today though in the lives that have been touched as a result of their sacrifice. God can and does use even the most tragic events to bring people to Him. as a result of tiff's scholarship fund several young people have had the opportunity to develop a passion for missions like she had. what an incredible legacy you have left my friend.

sending love to all my ywam family today. wishing i could sit and chat and hug each one of you. we're scattered all over the world now but i am so grateful that we can come together on this day and really remember.

grace and peace,